A Call to Imagination

New York Times Article Screenshot from 4-5-18 on Project Based Learning

Building Skills Outside the Classroom With New Ways of Learning by John Hanc
New York Times, April 5, 2018

In this concise article, John Hanc explores "innovative school programs and their partners [as they] seek to reimagine the educational system in the 21st century." Without going into much depth on any of these programs in particular, he overviews and highlights some interesting educational innovations across the country: Mayfield Innovation Center (at Mayfield City Schools in Cleveland), Project Lead the Way (a nonprofit in Indianapolis), Toyota’s internships and other recruitment programs for students, career-themed academies in Pasadena, Pathways to Teacher Diversity in Massachusetts, and City-as-School High School in New York City. The emphases are essentially project-based learning, community and industry partnerships, and diversity. Hanc observes that many of the innovative programs he uncovers are STEM-oriented (with the related labs, studios, and advanced technologies), but the larger theme here is inquiry. Hanc quotes the Mayfield City Schools superintendent, Keith Kelly, who says the innovation center there is "about getting kids involved in inquiry, in solving problems, in partnerships, in authentic projects that may be of interest to them." These ideas aren't especially new, but they are finding new forms. Hanc's quick compilation of program examples offers a provocation for independent school educators, as we assess our own schools' programs and innovations against the changing times. The challenges, to which Hanc alludes without naming, are in many ways logistical; the charge, a call to imagination.

Submitted By: Meghan Tally, Windward School, Los Angeles, CA

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